« From Koch cash to sugar money, economic elites fundraise for Mitt Romney at Palm Beach home of Dolphins owner | Main | Democratic Rep. Pafford presents 2-minute guide to state budget »

U.S. House to U.S. Senate: We're not passing your payroll tax cut as-is

The U.S. House of Representatives on Tuesday blew off the Senate's bipartisan proposal to extend a payroll tax cut for two months, instead voting for a conference committee that would work on a bill with the Senate.  

Problem is, the Senate is already gone home for the holidays, and won't be returning until Jan. 23. And if the extenstion isn't approved, an estimated 160 million people will see lighter paychecks beginning in January. The tax cut is about $1,000 a year for families, the White House said. 

President Barack Obama told Republicans shortly after their vote that they need to "come together right now and do the right thing," noting that the Senate was able to do so, even if it means they must return after the holiday break to negotiate extending the two-month period to a year. "We have more important things to worry about than politics right now," Obama said. 

But House Speaker John Boehner, R-Ohio, wasn't able to muster the votes to pass the Senate bill with the two-month extenstion, and didn't schedule a vote that would have failed -- and would have painted Republicans as raising people's taxes. Instead of voting on the Senate bill, House Republicans voted to meet with the Senate to work out their differences on the tax cut legislation. Boehner went as far as to appoint six "conferees."  

Tuesday's 229-193 House vote was largely along party lines, although seven Republicans did vote with Democrats. Miami Republican Reps. Ileana Ros-Lehtinen and David Rivera voted to go to conference with the Senate on the bill, as did and Rep. Allen West,  R-Plantation. Democratic Reps. Frederica Wilson of Miami, Alcee Hastings of Miramar, Debbie Wasserman Schultz of Weston and Ted Deutch of Boca Raton voted for it. Rep. Mario Diaz-Balart, R-Miami, didn't vote -- his office said he was anavailable because of a family medical issue. Rep. Connie Mack, R-Fort Myers, who is running for U.S. Senate in Florida, also voted with fellow Republicans on the bill. 

Note: Both Sen. Bill Nelson, D-Fla., and Marco Rubio, R-Fla., voted for the two-month payroll tax cut extension last week in the Senate, where it passed 89-10.


Feed You can follow this conversation by subscribing to the comment feed for this post.


Why does the press insist on printing this Boehner baloney? The Tea Party pulled their support from the bill because it was stripped of unrelated "poison pills" like the two year exemption of environmental regulation of heavy metals for the coal industry. Boehner knows the bill wouldn't pass and is seeking political cover by claiming this is about extending the tax cut for an entire year...but they are really seeking an opportunity to reinstate this garbage back into the bill.


Maybe so; but if Obama likes the bill, that is all it takes for a no vote. Obama wants to ratify on a cure for Cancer. Repubs vote no!!!


If Bubba were President, he'd go to the mat with the House. On the other hand, Obama folded after threatening two vetoes recently. This may have given the GOP the impression that Obama would cut and run from any confrontation. And the GOP may be right.
Sterling Greenwood/AspenFreePress


Unelected officials are orchestrating events in Washington and for the media to report on. Here's why, it's the biggest cover up in history


Republicans to the working families of the 99%: Drop Dead!!


Rep vote no??????? Well im a independant voter and i vote yes on higher taxes for the wealthy even if i have to pay more taxes I dont care....just do your jobs you ignorant idiots


The Tea Party is ruining this country. I can stand Republicans even though I might not always agree with them. However, these tea party extremists have taken their political games too far. VOTE THESE CRAZIES OUT!

Rudolph Houck

There seem to be 3 Parties running the country. Boehner claims to be leading two of them. But he's not doing a very good job of figuring out where one of them is willing to go. Would we do better with some PT Speaker of the House? Probably not. A agree that Obama seems not to have found a fight he isn't willing to avoid.

Bob Huckaby

The Tea Party is a lot of Americans that have a say so also. Why can't the Democrats just do the job right the first time and approve it for a year instead of two months. It is time for the Pelosi/Reid show to move on. Vote them out and give our country a chance. Talk about Crazies, these are two of the biggest in politics.


Had the Republicans held strong last time, we would not have been downgraded!


I think you are wealthy and should pay more taxes....


I too am sick of all the "balanced" reporting on this story. The President, Dems, and most Republicans wanted a year long extension of a tax cut. Let me repeat: a TAX CUT. The tea party said, "well, we like tax cuts, but in order to pass something WE want, you have to pass something YOU don't want." How is that a negotiation? A year long extension only turned into a 2 month extension because Senate Dems and Repubs refused to cave to extremist demands and instead passed a BIPARTISAN Compromise. A message to all media: Please stop reporting as if both sides are similarly intransigent. Heck, give sane republicans all the credit you want, but at least call out the Tea Party for this insanity. Don't be afraid of all the think tanks that will surely berate you or of Fox News which will surely vilify you. Please do your job and report on the jobs our congress people aren't doing!!!


Why does the press say, "House blew it off" when Reid got a bill for one year and the pipeline to create jobs and Reid said it was DOA before he even saw it. At least the house votes so you can hold the elected official responsiable. Reid covers for Demo Senators by not allowing a vote, if they vote then they are held responsible. If their house bill is so bad why not let the senators vote????


i find them disgusting. yes, long term needs to be addressed. but in the mean time, there are FAMILIES out there who can't afford even the slightest in increased taxes, and individuals like myself, who work part time but NEED my supplemental long term unemployment to pay my rent & bills to SURVIVE (because I can't find a full time job despite sending out resumes every week). this is REAL peoples lives, congress needs to understand that. But hey, what do they care? WE Taxpayers are supporting their salaries and their health care and their vacations. Without that unemployment extension, and with the increase in the payroll tax, I will have to choose between paying my light bill or buying groceries. Way to go Congress, your ideologic principles and partisan rhetoric are doing wonders for the people you supposidly represent.


@Bob Huckaby, the Democrats wanted a one-year bill, but the Republicans refused to allow a vote on it in the Senate because it didn't include the poison pill provisions that had NOTHING to do with the payroll tax cut. The two-month extension was a bipartisan agreement that had Boehner's approval...until the Senate actually passed it. You can thank the Tea Party Caucus, John Boehner and Mitch McConnell for this year-end mess, not the Democrats. The Tea Party caucus has already done untold harm to America's standing and credit rating, not to mention the damage done to millions of Americans held hostage to their fanatical ideology.


I'd like to see some headlines like the following...
"US taxpayers to US Congress: You don't pass anything meaningful anyway", "US taxpayers to US Congress: You are pretty much a worthless hole in our pockets", "US taxpayers to US Congress: We don't respect you"


Unbelievable, Boehner is an idiot.


The idiots in Washington passed a bill that most payroll system will need to be re-programmed to handle. So, it just a piece of worthless paper. We need to a balance budget, I'm willing to pay 2%, if congress would gets some balls and make some tough decisions.


What happened to we the people. I heave yet to hear a vote that we the people spoke on. Our government is doing nothing for the lower class but making the rich poorer. The Senate is doing nothing for the people. But putting blame on everyone else. Just do your job.

Rudy Gonzales

If you notice, Boehner is in the background on this issue as his knees have been chopped out from under him by the Treasonous Erring Anarchist(­TEA) party currently led by Eric Cantor. Their usual mode is to agree to one thing and come back with another to confuse and delay the final outcome in an effort to deter others from making plans. Allowing the two-month approved agreement to expire and holding onto the first agreement would lay all the blame on these Troubling Egotistica­l Ambivalent (TEA) party. The Senate did their job based on an agreement having a 90 % approval, but the House version of the Terrifying Errant Activist(T­EA) party shut down any agreement which would make the president and the Democrats go back to the table for discussion­. It is obvious Mitch McConnell'­s ties to the Tragic Erratic Activist(T­­EA) party have made him the most shadiest Senator in Congress. The Troubled Economic Antagonist­(TEA) party have vowed to run candidates all over the country and have even targeted John Boehner for replacemen­t. At this point in time the TEA-GOP-Re­publican elitist fringe have been dutifully backed into a corner and those across the aisle and in the other chamber and the president should hold their ground and throw cold water on these blowhards!

Buzz Mills

Payroll, Unemployment http://bit.ly/rRawKB
Payroll Tax Cut, Unemployment Extension http://bit.ly/uy006b

Common Sense

This action is being held up by a minority. The Senate is one-fifth the size of the House and yet they are perceived as the majority opinion. Not so. The majority is in the House. Has anyone read the papers today? The two month payroll tax plan is DOA according to the firms who administer payrolls. Even if it passed it may not be implemented before the two months is up.


I don't get why it's so hard for people to figure out. The TEA PARTY was voted in to office on the basic premise that they would attempt to control the run away spending and tax cuts which are putting us deeper in to deficit. The elected members of the TEA PARTY are doing exactly what we asked them to do, stop the run away spending in Washington. They are the only elected officials which have even made the attempt to honor their campaign promises.


If Washington was a major corporation and the congressional members the department heads, the president of the corporation would fire them for their inability to sit across the table and come up with a plan that is in the best interest of the company. Our congress can't be civil let alone find common ground. Our problem is not who sits in the oval office, but who sits in the house. We need representatives that know how to give and take and work for the common good of all.


working families to republicans drop dead


Well, again, democrats do an amazing job of sayin "we wont pass a bill with a pipeline in it, we wont pass a bill with tax cuts for the rich, and why do the republicans refuse to compromise?" I just wish republicans would actually fight back and explain what they have proposed and ask Reid and Pelosi what they would compromise on? The answer is probably: nothing. Well, at least they'd act like the rich owe more and that republicans don't care about the poor, but even Obama admitted a year ago that we can't afford to raise taxes on the rich in a time like this. But lets be honest, this is another case where Harry Reid threatens a government shutdown, we all wish it would actually happen, and then nothing does because who's really playing politics? What I don't get about people who demand tax increases on the rich is, why do people want a government that has the authority to take more and more, and when should it stop? And about the payroll tax on the working class, am I incorrect when I say its not a tax increase, it's actually just a former tax cut going away? So if we "working class" used to pay it, why can't we afford to pay it again? Sucks to be a subject of looming tax increases, doesn't it? If you don't want it to happen to you, then don't wish tax increases on others. By the way, I say all this being a 10.25/hr employee, so please don't insult me or call me a rich snob, I certainly wouln't know what having money to spare would be like.


The whole political scheme in washington is a JOKE!!! I think the American people should vote them all out and start anew!! these people like BONER(Boehner)have been there to long and receive to many kickbacks to raise taxes on themselves, if they did that they couldn't make their millions while holding a public job supposed to protect the American people, not Rape them!!! They have this country in a big mess and are trying to blame Obama who inherited their last mess when they were in control and was spending money like it was never ending, but now that the country needs help, they cant spend money they don't have!!! all of a sudden..They are making us look like idiots to the rest of the world!!! not the ruling country we used to be!! SAD


Boehner is a bummer. If his father were alive, he wouldn't have approved his politics.


Good job by republicans. The send could have approved it for a year but they played politics. Let those spoilers come back from their vacations till the end of January if they care a bit for the people


Obama will fold and cave in.


Hey, heres a new idea. Our elected officials deny the tax cut and go on holiday break - let's go to Washington and CHANGE THE F'ING LOCKS. I'm serious - dont let the jerks back in there - stop paying them today. Then just walk down the streets in anytown USA asking people if they want to be a senator or congressman, anybody who is smart enough to say "hell no", draft them for 4 years into government service.


So where's that whole "it's not a tax increase it's actually just a former tax cut going away" argument when we look for an honest debate about rolling back the unpaid for Bush tax cuts that took us from surplus to massive deficit? All I hear when that is mentioned as A DEFICIT REDUCTION STRATEGY WITH NO NEW SPENDING ATTACHED is doomsday talk about "raising taxes in a recession". Teabaggers will say anything. What they want is the dissolution of government altogether and no rhetoric is too specious for hiding that blatant agenda.


Best and clearest analysis I've seen yet.


And of course the teabagger above me arguing that the end of a tax cut is not the same as a tax increase deletes his post when called out on it...


Any middle class who votes for a Republican deserves to have his head examined!
Their only interest is the top 1%.

Tamera Ingram

Senators can go right back to Washington and do their job. Who gets a month and a half off for a holiday? I am grateful for Christmas day off! There were many years I worked that day. Forgive my harsh language I know WORK is a dirty word to all the liberals and the 99% but there are still people who work for a living and dont expect the rest of the country to pay for whatever whim they may have! Merry Christmas!


As usual, tax increase or tax decrease is a main topic. Be realistic, the problem is not where the money comes from, IT IS GOVERNMENT SPENDING!The rich could keep what they have and the poor could go out and earn it; but no! those that don't have want those that do have to give it them and they feel they deserve it. Your government has no problem giving billions away to foreign concerns, but nothing for our own citizens, just because " that's the way it is!" Enough is enough! Everyone should stop this government give-away and take back control, stop paying taxes and going to work until this country gets the ideas that "we the People " are the backbone of this nation, not our lawmakers! Let them be unemployed or no income, maybe they would realize what it is all about to be needing and no one cares!


To pass a law cutting taxes for a two months period is just a bad joke.


Independant brought up an interesting point by saying where was "its just a rollback of a tax cut" when it comes to rolling back geroge bush's tax cuts for the rich, and then blamed those cuts for part of our deficit and budget shortfalls... but beyond missing my point completely; i didnt't say what i said to justify letting the payroll tax cut expire, people who read it should be angry about being the target of "you owe more" and then should realize that if they dont want to be the target of higher taxes themselves, they certainly shouldn't be out targeting other people for tax increases..

Now to some things about why I wouldn't support rolling back Bush's tax cuts for the "rich", and I'll merely spell out three things that happened after Geroge Bush's tax cuts went into effect:
1) nationwide unemployment went to record lows (lower than under Clinton, in fact)
2) the dow jones hit record highs (a measure of market strength)
and 3) the federal treasury saw an increase in revenue

Now all 3 things pointed out go hand in hand and explain why tax cuts on the wealthy can do more economic stimulation than any government program or jobs bill could.. with more money in the private sector, businesses (and big evil corporations alike) had more of their money with which to invest in growth (aka, why dow jones hits record highs).. business that want to grow need to employ people for the things that help them gow (aka, lower unemployment than ever before) and the treasury saw a revenue increase over the previous year because even though the rate was lower, money was moving more permitting that increase and revenue. Now I have no clue what an "ideal" tax rate wold be, but I do know that a 100% tax rate and a 0% tax rate would both yield the same revenue; higher taxes are not always the answer to more revenue.

Uncle Sam

It's amazing that obama, a democRAT president demands Cut in Social Security Funding.


It is time for the press to report whenever an agreement is made by Boehner and then, when the tea party objects, he changes his mind and blames the Democrats. Also, the news should quit stating that "environmentalists" object to the proposed pipeline, and report honestly that the Republican governor of Nebraska is against it. He seems to believe that his state's drinking water is important. Why don't the build the refinery in Canada?


BenjaminS your retort would have been a lot more effective if you hadn't deleted your original baseless argument once it was countered with fact.

Of course spending creates deficits. It's a strawman argument to suggest that those arguing for revenue increases don't understand that. But some degree of deficit spending is inevitable, and even desirable in some cases (targeted stimulus to head off downward spiral depression conditions or save critical infrastructure industries that can't possibly turn a profit under certain conditions beyond their control). But guess what fixes deficits and debt once they've been created? Surplus! How do you achieve a surplus by simply cutting spending and not increasing revenue?

Of course you revert to the tired old household finance argument "Government should tighten its belt like my family has to"... your family doesn't have to:

- maintain the delicate balance of international trade agreements and set the framework for Americans with their high standard of living to compete in a global marketplace against better educated people willing to do the same work for 1/8 the pay
- regulate the most complex financial system in the world and ensure that the rules of the game aren't being manipulated or outright broken by China and Bernie Maddoff
- defend the country from enemies both foreign and domestic, many of whom don't play fair and don't do their fighting with guns and bombs but with computers and propaganda
- provide foreign aid to prevent worldwide epidemics that will eventually impact your family and prevent the environment from degrading to the point that it isn't inhabitable by human beings
- provide for the common good in general and uphold such basic principles as no innocent child needs to starve because of bad decisions their parents have made (to prevent a bloody revolution because no one has anything to lose if nothing else)

All of those things are conveniently done for you by... TADA! GOVERNMENT! And shockingly, those things cost money.

There was a budget surplus when Bush took office while still fulfilling all the obligations above and more. That is undeniable fact, not a political opinion. Instead of using that surplus to pay down the national debt Bush gave free prescription drugs to seniors in South Florida to get himself re-elected, sent everyone in the country a tax rebate check to boost his approval ratings, and cut the top tax rate and thus the lion's share of revenue without offsetting any of this with spending cuts. Meanwhile interest on the debt continued to add up while he fought two unpopular and unnecessary wars against government regimes he and his ex-CIA director Iran Contra war criminal father didn't like rather than the actual people who had done us harm--off the books.

So spare me the lecture about cutting spending unless you were also preaching that stuff when your own neocon crew was in charge. It sickens me to see the same people crowing about Obama wanting to theoretically raise your taxes (even though he hasn't and can't without GOP help) turn around and support the GOP for doing the exact. same. thing. on the basis that a tax break running out isn't actually the same thing as "new" taxes? Again, where was that argument when the Bush tax cuts were going to naturally expire? I didn't see one prominent conservative arguing that wasn't really a tax increase, but now somehow they wall want to work the "technically it's not an increase" angle when they are the ones needing to do image/damage control for their bought and paid for tea party sock puppets.

And yes, Democrats do the exact same crap. It's just Republicans once again in the news for getting yanked around by the extreme fringe minority of third grade educated cretins. These people want nothing more than to see the black guy out of the white house and the government "out of their business", never mind that their "business" wouldn't exist without the government protecting what's left of it from the sharks.



I encourage all of you to take a look at this link. I know the majority of the people are not fond of the Bush family. But, read this article for it's core idea and beliefs. I am an entrepreneur and every single day I find the government coming in my door and adding more regulations, red tape, fees, paperwork, fines and violations. All of it to pay for the massive inefficient government that we have. I creative tons of JOBS, risk my capital and work my tail off every single day to be rewarded and what do I get? I get more taxes, fees, red tape and government officials treating me like if I am the bad guy. The problem on a Local, State and Federal level is clearly our GOVERNMENT, and if you are not smart enough to understand that or you don't want this type of democracy, you can hop on a flight to Europe where you can cling on and live off the government and your free health care and never aspire to do anything with your life, because the European socialist system is proven to be a failure. The TEA party are far from Extremists, they are only trying to bring the country back to its founding principles "Smaller Government, Less Taxation for EVERYONE, private property and be able to enjoy the fruit of our labor instead of being punished for being hard working and creating new ideas.


Independant, although an interesting read, I do thank you for not insulting me personally during your rebuttal, but rather just resorting to the elementary tactic of name calling all conservative philosophy essentially for third grade educated cretins. Because the philosophy of a balanced budget sheet never made any household, business, or government strong.

The notion of "a little deficit spending can be okay, perhaps even stimulative at times", but we tried that once and that was 100 years ago and 15 trillion dollars later, and as of right now all we need is just a little more and our problems will be fixed... Why do I just not believe that?

Where you then went on to try the arena of ideas by listing some job functions of the government and said that all these things make it impossible for the government to balance its budget, but left me no need to rebutt by talking about the Clinton surplus, making me essentially right and a balanced budget possible.

Did I support George Bush' deficit spending, no? Is it fair to blame Iraq, I just don't see it. Most of the "1 billion" a month spent in Iraq of which most would have been spent anyway, if our troops were at home doing drills and such, so I really don't get how the war is what caused us to go from a surplus to a deficit. But if 1 billion a month in Iraq was too much, how much per month was Obama's 787 billion dollar stimulus that only lasted a year before he needed more? And over the course of our 3 'stimulus' years (counting TARP, which I opposed), did our nationwide unemployment go down any?

The "Clinton surplus" didn't occurr until after Republicans took the majority of the congress and the ways and means committee, nationwide unemployment went below 9% after republicans took the majority as well. Now I believe this happened because I think a divided White House and congress is whats best for this country. I agree with Thomas Jefferson who said " a government which governs least, governs best".

Next time you try to paint conservative philosophy as only for uneducated morons, try to actually arrive at the arena of intellect and ideas first, because failed liberal ideas have only cost us time, money, and resources; in some cases that we don't have.

But you arent the only one who seems to think liberalism is the intellectual way of the future and conservatism is for uneducated fools, but has liberal philosophy been affluent and intellectual in England, or has it failed? And what made this country the worlds largest superpower we are today? Balanced budget conservatism, or debt, and UN type diplomacy? I believe the notion of trying to do the same thing that has bankrupted and destroyed other countries, and thinking it will somehow work here, is really the philosophy for uneducated fools.

(ps, i never deleted my first statement, it should still be up there, and I think it still stands as 100% fact)

Rumah Dijual

if such a conclusion may well be two months later does not cut payroll tax

Danny Couch

For the GOP Christian conservative right, how is it that the liberal left is standing on his right hand?

Matthew 25:
40And the King shall answer and say unto them, Verily I say unto you, Inasmuch as ye have done it unto one of the least of these my brethren, ye have done it unto me.
41Then shall he say also unto them on the left hand, Depart from me, ye cursed, into everlasting fire, prepared for the devil and his angels:
42For I was hungred, and ye gave me no meat: I was thirsty, and ye gave me no drink:
43I was a stranger, and ye took me not in: naked, and ye clothed me not: sick, and in prison, and ye visited me not.
44Then shall they also answer him, saying, Lord, when saw we thee hungry, or thirst, or a stranger, or naked, or sick, or in prison, and did not minister unto thee?
45Then shall he answer them, saying, Verily I say unto you, Inasmuch as ye did it not to one of the least of these, ye did it not to me.
46And these shall go away into everlasting punishment: but the righteous into life eternal


Tamera Ingram: I never work less than 50 hours a week, and often 60 and sometimes even 70, at a stressful job that is damaging my health and family. You can malign me in all sorts of ways that would be spot-on, but accusing my of not working is just assinine. It's typical of the closed mindedness and baseless stereo typing that I've come to expect from you people, and I would thin you would be so embarrassed.

Eric Henderson

As a Brit who actually speaks, and writes, correct English I am amazed at all the totally inarticulate, wrongly spelt, garbage I have just read (above).

Notwithstanding all the appalling behaviour of the Republicans I am constantly dismayed that nobody seems to have put their finger on the motives of ALL US 'elected representatives' that their sole objective (from whichever party) seems to be the desire to be re-elected totally regardless of the needs of the US people whom they claim to represent. I despair....


How pitiful is Republican Speaker John Boehner anyway? Boehner can now be counted on to go back on his word to the Senate on every issue because the tiny tea party caucus (less than 60 clowns) stamps their feet and refuses to do anything Obama suggests. If Speaker Boehner had any political guts he would send the kids to bed without any supper and take away their Play Stations too. All he does is whine and cry when people get upset with him. What is wuss.


To pass a bill concerning taxes valid only for two months is a bad joke. The Senate and Mr. Obama are laughing at the taxpayers.

1 2 »

The comments to this entry are closed.